Welcome to the September addition of the nomadgroundsman.com blog.I hope the weather held enough for you to get your renovations done ,but if not there’s still plenty of time ,the County boys haven’t started yet.
This Month we are looking at aftercare of the new seed🌱 ,as l am sure you are aware how vital it is to ensure you get good results from your labours and gain good results in readiness for next season .
Just a heads up ,l have written a ebook which will guide you through the Winter.It has kindly been sponsored so l can share to all, keep an eye out will be available soon.
When do we do the first cut after renovations and how do we know when the grass is strong enough to put a mower on it ?
To put an actual time on it is tricky and open to opinions but when the new seed is about 30mm in length and or contains at least two shoot,it’s usually ready..Also when you can pull at the new grass left and its snaps ,rather than pulls out by the root.
With what mower cylinder or rotary at what height of cut?
A few opinions but personally l prefer a cylinder mower ,in the right conditions i.e. the surface is dry and the cylinder is at is sharpest.Using a rotary mower is also fine ,just ensure the blade is sharp and never cut off more than a third of the leaf during any one cut.
I would add that if you have completely removed the grass cover and reseeded then a rotary mower for the first few cuts would be a better option.
Usage of germination sheet or debris netting ?
Definetly helpful and will help create ideal growing conditions,just been aware of not leaving them down too long ,and check under them every other day and cut once it gets to 30mm.
Do we need to water the seed and young plant after renovations ,or wait for rain?
I personally have the time but l always like to water 💦,this will ensure the new seed takes root ,prior to possibly heavier rain later on that could move the seed around .
When do we overseed any bares areas and how ?
Seed does seem to come up in stages ,so don’t be to hasty .I usually look to overseeded in late October /early November,once the grass has been cut and thickened up.Use a sarel roller or even just a hand folk to create some holes about 12-15mm in depth,followed by some seeding and possibly a very light coating of loam.
In November there is the risk of frost ,but you can use germination sheets or frost protection sheeting ,l generally don’t and don’t need to as it’s often quite mild.
When do we fertilise and why ,with what ?
When is dependent on the demands of the plant but roughly every 8 weeks ,avoiding frosts ,make sure you read the label.
Any feeding of the plant should ideally be done based on a soil anylisis testing results but as a general recommendation a balanced fertiliser with 4-8% of Nitrogen max and some phosphorus and potassium .Something like a 6-5-10 granular feed(https://www.pitchcare.com/shop/icl-greenmaster-pro-lite-fertilisers-fine-turf/icl-greenmaster-pro-lite-autumn-6-5-10-6fe.html)
How often will we need to cut during Oct,Nov and December and why do we need to ?
From my experience we cut weekly in October then onto once every couple of week in November and then onto every few weeks in December.But soil temperatures dictates and mild Winters can affect this so, there is no absolute guide.
Why is aftercare and Winter works needed and what happens if we just put the square to bed and come back a month or so prior to the season?
Without aftercare in place ie mowing ,feeding ,worm control and disease monitoring your square is likely to experience many problems ,with the addition of weeds which will seed into any thinly grassed areas.
Every cut you do encourages a thickening of the new plant ,reducing space for weeds,moss ,along with undesirable grasses.Regular cutting will also keep the grass short and much less likely to suffer from disease .
Regular monitoring and a feeding programme will address the only disease your likely to get (red thread ) https://www.pitchcare.com/news-media/red-thread-disease.html ,which will only need the addition of a low nitrogen feed .
For most clubs renovations is a big cost and an unavoidable drain on resources ,so every effort really needs to be made to protect that investment in seed /loam to ensure it is looked after.
Next season wickets really do start now !!!
Any further questions ,please feel free to make a comment at the bottom of the page ,which l will answer and do think about subscribing to receive these blogs via email(it’s free)
Ps, l do hope it stops raining for you.
Big Thanks to Pitchcare.com for sharing.